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Everyblock Filters News, Data in Cities January 24, 2008

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Journalism, News, Reviews, Social Media, Trends.
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What’s happening in your neighborhood? Everyblock has just launched to let users search for news and information by address, zip code or neighborhood. For example, typing a zip code in the Chicago site brings up all the crimes reported there.

So far only Chicago, San Francisco and New York are covered, but more cities will be added soon. With its unique filter on the chaos of city life, EveryBlock does a good job of pulling information from disparate sources for Chicago/NYC/SF-based readers.

To get a taste, check out a map of all photos taken recently in Downtown San Francisco, a list of vehicles stolen in Chicago, or a log of the graffiti recently cleaned up in Brooklyn.

Al Thompkins of Poynter Institute reviews:

Click the word “map” on the upper right corner of the listing, and it maps all of the crimes. The site also gives you restaurant inspection scores for every zip code, street or specific address.

I then found all of the new business licenses issued for that zip code. When you click on the Business Reviews navigation bar, you’ll be directed to a listing of various businesses that you can comment on and rate.

Anytime the city of Chicago sends a press release from a city department that mentions this section of town, it will show up in the city press release section of the site.

The “news articles” tab features stories from various sites that in some way mention the area covered by the zip code. “Filmings” is a tab that mentions what movies have been filmed in that area of town.

The “photos” tab takes you to Flickr photos that have been tagged as having to do with Chicago. The site lists street closures due to construction, block parties. etc

While the sites may look like a random collection of data pulled from myriad services and slapped together, they promise serendipitous moments as Website destinations and innovative journalism.

The site was dreamed up by Adrian Holovaty, also behind the popular ChicagoCrime.org that maps incidents of crime daily. EveryBlock is funded by a $1.1M, two-year grant from the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge, a competition for making local news more easily obtainable.

Everyblock competes directly with Outside.in. Yahoo’s OurCity, while still beta and only covering cities in India, has many similar features as well. Also see YourStreet.

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